With Watford sat in 11th place and Blackpool all the way up in 5th position, it would seem as though both of these sides have everything to play for ahead of this fixture. With both teams also possessing some positive form through recent weeks, there is no doubt that this Good Friday fixture is going to be a great spectacle for the neutral.
Even though Watford lost several of their key players, their manager and most of their backroom staff in the summer, the Hornets have experienced a wonderful 11/12 season and Sean Dyche is surely attracting the attention of other clubs. The Hornets’ boss has had to completely rebuild the Vicarage Road outfit and considering the fact that Watford were tipped as certainties for the drop, the fact they sit in 11th spot is a remarkable achievement. Admittedly, it would take a huge effort for the club to reach the top six, with six points currently separating them from the playoffs. However, with the club unbeaten in seven and winning five of those encounters, there is still a small chance that the Hornets can break into the playoff picture.
Blackpool on the other hand have fared exactly how everyone expected, with the Seasiders occupying a playoff position following their recent relegation from the top flight. However, Ian Holloway’s side certainly don’t have a secure position, with the club one of three sides currently based on sixty three points. Bearing this in mind, they could even drop out of the top six should results go against them this weekend. However, with the Seasiders thrashing league leaders Southampton 3-0 in their last outing, confidence is likely to be very high at Bloomfield Road. With that being said, Holloway’s side have lost their last three away Championship games, meaning that they will approach this fixture with at least some caution.
There is little team news to report for the home side, with Sean Dyche looking to keep changes to a minimum. The Hornets will be without defender Adrian Mariappa through an ankle issue again, but that is the only absentee Dyche has to deal with. There’s slightly more news for Blackpool meanwhile, with Ian Holloway first poised to hand a late fitness test to Kevin Phillips following an ankle injury. Unfortunately Holloway could have further problems to contend with in his front line, with Roman Bednar set to miss out as a knee problem hinders him. On a slightly more positive note, Blackpool are preparing to draft Barry Ferguson and Stephen Crainey into the reckoning after resting the duo in recent fixtures.
As for a prediction, we think Watford will triumph in this clash. The Hornets have put together some brilliant form over recent weeks, while it is obvious that Blackpool have experienced some difficulties in away fixtures. With that, we expect a 2-0 win for Sean Dyche’s side.